23 October 2018, Tuesday, 15:43
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ILO: Forced Labor Is New Form Of Slavery In Belarus

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The ILO conference put forward five demands before the Belarusian authorities.

The Committee on Standards at the 107th Session of the International Labor Conference, which was held in Geneva, added five more to the twelve requirements to the government of Belarus from 2014. As informs praca-by.info, the website of the Free Trade Union of Belarus has analyzed all requirements of the diplomats and put them down in clear, accessible language.

The ILO is an international organization that monitors the fairness of the "employer-employee relationship". It demanded that Belarus stop coercion to work. Forced labor for wages, which the employee does not agree to, is coercion. This is the new form of slavery in modern Belarus.

From the conclusions of the Committee on the Norms of the 107th Session of the International Labor Conference (Geneva) held on May 28 – June 8, 2018 it follows that 12 requirements of the ILO of 2004 have been supplemented by 5 requirements from 2018. In the diplomatic language, this sounds like: "Taking into account the materials submitted by the government and the results of the subsequent discussion, the Committee issued recommendations to the government".

What the ILO requires:

- not to adopt laws with elements of forced labor;

- to demonstrate to ILO the laws that prohibit forced labor in Belarus, and how they are applied in practice;

- to give guarantees that the decree "On parasites" will not in practice force people to work without the worker's desire;

- to ensure that Medical-Labour Centres do not turn into forced labor camps;

- to ensure technical assistance from the ILO for independent trade unions and the government to prevent forced labor in practice.

Here's how it sounds to diplomats:

- continue to take all measures to prohibit the use of forced labor in full compliance with the Convention 29 and refrain from adopting legislation that is consonant and can lead to the use of forced labor;

- provide the Committee of Experts with information pertaining to the provisions of Decree No. 182 of Lukashenka, both in the field of law and in practice;

- provide the Committee of Experts with information confirming the replacement of Decree # 3 with Decree # 1, including information pertaining to the operation of this document, both in law and in practice;

- continue to provide information on the implementation of Law No. 104-3 in practice, including the number of persons placed in Medical-Labour Centres and required to work, which is a form of rehabilitation;

- continue to receive technical assistance to ensure full compliance with Convention No. 29, both in the field of law and in practice.

The ILO Committee took into account the oral statement of the representative of the Government of Belarus and its subsequent discussion.

In addition to the Committee's conclusion of 2016 and the subsequent government actions, the Committee took note of the explanations for the conceptual changes introduced into the structure of Lukashenka's Decree # 3 of April 2, 2015 by Lukashenka's Decree # 1 of January 25, 2018, and the repeal of Decree # 9 of December 7, by Decree of Lukashenka # 182 of May 27, 2018. However, the Committee notes with concern the possible forcible collection of money from the use of forced labor as a result of other decrees of Lukashenka, which have not yet been amended.

The ILO Committee calls on the Government to continue to cooperate with the ILO in order to seek the prohibition of the use of forced labor and to inform about the measures taken at the next (May-June 2019) meeting of the Committee of Experts.

And the government of Belarus diplomatically promises nothing (previous ILO recommendations from 2004 have not been fulfilled):

"The representative of the Government indicated that her Government intended to act in accordance with international labor standards and would send additional information to the Committee of Experts in order to promote a better understanding of the measures taken to implement the Convention. She stressed that the purpose of these measures taken by the government is to combat certain undesirable phenomena like alcoholism and drug addiction through the provision of assistance, rehabilitation and the provision of child protection services."